Health, Disasters and Risk
Disaster and emergency management
Title: Communicable disease control in complex emergencies
Author(s): By the World Health Organization (WHO)
Source: WHO, 2003
Pages: 6 p.
Abstract: Communicable diseases are the major killers in complex emergencies. Death rates among refugees and displaced persons over 60 times the baseline rates have been recorded, with over three quarters of these deaths being due to communicable diseases. In the initial phase of a complex emergency the diseases with the greatest burden are measles, diarrhoeal diseases, acute respiratory infections, and malaria where prevalent. TB and HIV/AIDS are also important health problems.
Title: Communicable disease control in emergencies: a field manual
Author(s): By M.A. Connolly
Source: WHO, 2005
Pages: 295 p.
Abstract: This manual is intended to help health professionals and public health coordinators working in emergency situations prevent, detect and control the major communicable diseases encountered by affected populations. Emergencies include complex emergencies and natural disasters (e.g. floods and earthquakes). The term “complex emergencies” has been coined to describe “situations of war or civil strife affecting large civilian populations with food shortages and population displacement, resulting in excess mortality and morbidity”.
Title: Community emergency preparedness: a manual for managers and policy-makers
Author(s): By the World Health Organization (WHO)
Source: WHO, 1999
Pages: 141 p.
Abstract: This manual is designed to assist those concerned with preparing for emergencies at the local level. It explains what emergency preparedness is and how to achieve it in an effective, appropriate way. It is intended principally for: local organizations and managers responsible for emergency planning (e.g. health sector administrators, directors of public works organizations, hospital administrators, and heads of volunteer organizations); and national and international officials involved in emergency management. This manual explains the processes of policy development, vulnerability assessment, emergency planning, training and education, and monitoring and evaluation for use in a wide range of emergency management applications.
Title: Guidelines for policy development for emergency management by the health sector
Author(s): By the World Health Organization (WHO)
Source: WHO
Pages: 80 p.
Abstract: This series of documents represents a distillation of current international best practice in health sector response, adapted to the administrative and socio-cultural environment of the Philippines, and modified to reflect the realities of resource constraints in a developing country. Where possible, the highest standards are sought, but it is recognised that circumstances may not always allow these standards to be met. Emphasis is therefore given on providing the widest coverage of a set of agreed minimum standards to victims of an emergency, and on providing administrative procedures which allow local staff to meet those standards without undue bureaucratic constraints.
Title: Guidelines on best public health practices in emergencies for district health workers
Author(s): By the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD), Ministry of Health, Department of Health Services, Nepal, and World Health Organization (WHO)
Source: EDCD, WHO, 2003
Pages: 51 p.
Abstract: The guidelines target District Rapid Response Teams and outline the best practices and standards for public health response during emergencies. Apart from outlining the common hazards and threats in Nepal and the responsibilities of the rapid response teams in emergencies, the guidelines also highlight key standards and indicators from the SPHERE project.
Title: Health action in crisis: annual report 2006
Author(s): By the World Health Organization (WHO)
Source: WHO, 2007
Pages: 34 p.
Abstract: The year 2006 saw major developments in the emergency and humanitarian arena. Rarely has health and humanitarian action been so high on the international agenda. In St Petersburg in July 2006, G8 Heads of State and Government reaffirmed the importance of the coordinating role played by the United Nations in emergency and humanitarian operations, and pledged to further enhance the UN's effectiveness. G8 leaders explicitly recognized the central importance of health in emergencies and welcomed WHO's efforts in strengthening its operational capacity in crises. They also declared their support for emergency preparedness programmes to help the health sector meet the challenges posed by emergencies. This document describes WHO's emergency activities throughout 2006. They range from major relief operations in Lebanon to humanitarian programmes in underreported complex emergencies. WHO has 60 emergency field staff stationed in 42 countries, ready and able to respond whenever and wherever crises occur. This expansion in WHO's emergency capacity was possible largely thanks to generous funding from donors – DFID, ECHO, Sida, and others – of the Three Year Programme to Enhance WHO's Performance in Crises (TYP).
Title: Health action in crises: annual report 2005
Author(s): By the World Health Organization (WHO)
Source: WHO, 2006
Pages: 22 p.
Abstract: The number of people affected by disasters continued to rise in 2005.The year began with the response to the South East Asia tsunami and finished with the response to the South Asia earthquake. Each year, one in five WHO Member States experiences a crisis that endangers the health of its people. Estimates indicate that more than 150 million people were directly affected by natural disasters. Moreover, for each major emergency that is reported by the media and recorded in international databases, there are dozens of smaller-sized emergencies that strike local communities, affecting the development and the health of their populations with little or no external assistance to help in relief and recovery operations. Investing in community capacity-building for emergency preparedness and response is the only sustainable answer to this situation.
Title: Humanitarian supply management in logistics in the health sector
Author(s): By the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), World Health Organization (WHO)
Source: PAHO/WHO, 2001
Pages: 176 p.
Abstract: This handbook is intended as a guide to certain basic aspects of emergency supply logistics and as reference material for all those involved in the management of humanitarian supplies. It describes a series of procedures for the correct handling of supplies at each of the stages of the logistics chain. Some of these procedures reflect the standards of international organizations involved in disaster response. Many others, however, are the distillation of concrete experiences by those in the field. While no guidelines can be universally applicable, the techniques and procedures proposed here should be of some value in almost all circumstances involving emergency operations. The manual is aimed at all those who work in emergency management, whether government officials or members of non-governmental organizations; the procedures outlined should be applicable in both cases. The content has been organized in such a way that those who are already experts in the field can use it as reference material, while those who wish to learn about the subject will find a systematic presentation of the most relevant aspects of the logistics of managing humanitarian supplies. This is a new contribution by the Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization to national efforts to strengthen operational capacity, particularly in those aspects related to the management of humanitarian assistance.
Title: Manual de evaluación de daños y necesidades en salud para situaciones de desastre: serie manuales y guías sobre desastres, no. 4
Author(s): By the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), World Health Organization (WHO)
Source: PAHO/WHO, 2004
Pages: 193 p.
Abstract: Este Manual pretende entregar a los evaluadores y a la comunidad del sector salud en general un instrumento para la evaluación de daños y necesidades en salud, que pueda ser utilizado en situaciones de desastre, con los respectivos ajustes según la realidad local y el tipo de evento adverso. Los conceptos básicos del manejo de los desastres y las características de la evaluación en las áreas de vigilancia epidemiológica, saneamiento básico e infraestructura de salud son los principales temas que presenta este Manual.
Title: Minimum standards for education in emergencies, chronic crises and early reconstruction
Author(s): By the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE)
Source: INEE, 2004
Pages: 78 p.
Abstract: The minimum standards for education in emergencies, chronic crises and early reconstruction are both a handbook and an expression of commitment, developed through a broad process of collaboration, that all individuals – children, youth and adults – have a right to education during emergencies. They echo the core beliefs of the Sphere Project: that all possible steps should be taken to alleviate human suffering arising out of calamity and conflict, and that people affected by disaster have a right to life with dignity.
Title: Order in chaos: modelling medical disaster management
Author(s): By Jan de Boer
Source: Department of Surgery, Free University Hospital, Netherland, 1999
Pages: 226 p.
Abstract: The medical aspects of disaster management, also referred to as disaster medicine, is a relatively new medical specialty, the roots of which are to be found in war surgery and traumatology. The main content of disaster medicine is based on empiricism. During the past couple of years, a mathematical approach to some aspects has been added. This may well result in the creation of some order in chaos. This modelling of medical disaster management is important not only in the preparedness phase, but also during the disaster itself and its evaluation. This may in turn result in a decrease in mortality, morbidity and disability amongst disaster casualties.
Title: Protecting and assisting older people in emergencies: network paper, number 53, December 2005
Author(s): By Jo Wells, Humanitarian Practice Network (HPN)
Source: Overseas Development Institute (ODI), 2005
Pages: 30 p.
Abstract: This paper summarises the major policy and practice issues affecting humanitarian protection and assistance for older people, and recommends measures to ensure that older citizens caught up in humanitarian crises enjoy equal rights and a fair share of humanitarian resources, and are included in decision-making in programmes that affect their lives. It aims to add to the small body of work relating to protection and assistance issues specific to older people.
Title: Reducing the impact of crises on health
Author(s): By the World Health Organization (WHO)
Source: WHO, 2006
Pages: 20 p.
Abstract: In 2004, WHO launched a three-year initiative to dramatically scale up Health Action in Crises (HAC) operations. The strategy will make the entire Organization more reliable and effective in supporting health stakeholders in crises. The Three Year Programme (TYP) aims at harnessing the resources of the many specialized technical and administrative programme of WHO and catalysing organizational change for improved, predictable health action in emergency preparedness, response and early recovery. It focuses on improving WHO’s capacity for delivering its core functions in crises settings and aims at ultimately minimizing death and suffering in emergencies.
Title: Reducing the impact of crises on people’s health
Author(s): By the World Health Organization (WHO)
Source: WHO, 2004
Pages: 14 p.
Abstract: During the last few years, the international response to food shortages in crises has greatly improved through a combination of better specifications of what is required, focused leadership, effective coordination, responsive delivery mechanisms and careful monitoring. We need to achieve the same results for the health aspects of crises. The challenge is substantial. The international community is scaling up its work for people at risk of crises. This brochure describes the contribution of the World Health Organization (WHO) to this endeavour.
Title: SUMA: Integral Humanitarian Supply Management System Practices version 5.2
Author(s): By the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), World Health Organization (WHO)
Source: PAHO/WHO, 2000
Pages: 40 p.
Abstract: The Humanitarian Supply Management System (SUMA), started as a joint initiative of the Latin American and Caribbean countries that, with the technical cooperation of the Pan American Health Organization, the Regional Office of the World Health Organization, developed with the financial support during 8 years from the government of the Netherlands and the support of other governments like England, United States, Canada, Germany and the European Community Office for Humanitarian Affairs, ECHO. Its principal objective is to improve the management of humanitarian assistance, by strengthening the national capacity for the effective management of the humanitarian supplies, so that these supplies arrive at time and effectively to the affected population. SUMA helps to manage the incoming supplies, to classify them at the point of entry into the country, with the aim to assign priorities for the distribution of the items, according to the needs of the affected population. The system makes it possible to generate information about the flow of donations and the type and characteristics of the supplies. This enables to prepare reports for donors, national authorities, humanitarian agencies and the press about the supplies received and delivered to the affected areas, which is very important to enhance the efficiency and transparency in the humanitarian supply management.
Title: Systematizing Emergency Health Management 2005-2007: the Emergency and Humanitarian Action Programme of WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia
Author(s): South East Asia Regional Office (SEARO)/World Health Organization (WHO)
Source: SERAO/WHO, 2007
Pages: 36 p.
Abstract: Clearly, in terms of disasters, the South-East Asia Region has been particularly hard-hit in the recent past. The earthquake and tsunami of 26 December 2004, which affected more than six countries of this part of the world, was one of the worst natural disasters in recent history. Recovery efforts are still on today, more than two and half years after the waves swept the shorelines of the region. The earthquake in Yogyakarta, floods in Indonesia, India, Thailand and Nepal, and regular monsoon events in countries such as Bangladesh and Myanmar emphasize that there are risks and hazards to contend with regularly. The booklet Systematizing Emergency Health Management 2005-2007 highlights key events and developments in the Emergency and Humanitarian Action programme in the last three years, and outlines the strategic directions of the programme in the coming years.
Title: The role of laboratories and blood banks in disaster situations: a practical guide developed at the workshop held in Managua, Nicaragua, on 7 June 2001
Author(s): By the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), World Health Organization (WHO)
Source: PAHO/WHO, 2002
Pages: 27 p.
Abstract: Recent disasters in Central America, such as Hurricanes Mitch and Georges in 1998 and the El Salvador earthquake in 2001, have underscored the importance of including the activities of public health laboratories, clinical laboratories, and blood banks in the health sector's emergency plans. The purpose of this guide is to sensitize and orient health authorities, laboratory directors, laboratory technicians, and blood bank personnel to the identification of responsibilities and functions of laboratory and blood bank services in disaster situations, taking into account priorities, needs, and the local capacity for immediate response. The response of health services to disaster situations will be improved when activities to mitigate and reduce vulnerability and to restore and reorganize laboratory and blood bank services are incorporated in emergency plans.